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Author Topic: RF Analiser: wich is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?  (Read 896 times)

Gian Luca Cavalliini

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RF Analiser: wich is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« on: May 23, 2019, 04:28:23 am »

Hi all,
RF coordination is becoming "real job" in Italy. So, after MANY years of RF Explorer use I'm searching a new, fast, precise analyser system. Kaltman RF Vue, that I used many times, is too slow and "problematic". I really need something fast to measure not just DVB-T but also intermittent signal (Walkyes, Led ecc.). And yes, money is a great concern (RF coordination is BECOMING etc.)
Extensive search on the web point me to Signal Hound SA44B.
Any comment will be appreciate, TIA  :)
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 06:51:24 am by Gian Luca Cavalliini »
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Scott Helmke

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Re: RF Analiser: wich is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2019, 08:53:13 am »

Onsite I mostly use a TTi PSA (3701, I think?), one of the older versions.  Quick to operate, does a fine job tracking down problems and also getting a "start of the day" scan as long as I keep each scan to a reasonable size.  Here in the USA it's 6MHz DTV channels and the TTi screen has 10 divisions (screen markings) so I just do 60MHz chunks for an overall scan.
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Gian Luca Cavalliini

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Re: RF Analiser: wich is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2019, 12:47:34 pm »

Onsite I mostly use a TTi PSA (3701, I think?), one of the older versions.  Quick to operate, does a fine job tracking down problems and also getting a "start of the day" scan as long as I keep each scan to a reasonable size.  Here in the USA it's 6MHz DTV channels and the TTi screen has 10 divisions (screen markings) so I just do 60MHz chunks for an overall scan.
Thanx Scott for your response!
TTI is obviously one of the main brand of interest... Signal Hound appears to me faster in scanning with high resolution, at least in the same money range. Am I wrong? I'm asking just beacause I don't know for sure!
RF Explorer is pretty faster than RF Vue and others, I'm using it with Touchstone (which give me RBW control), good enough for 80% of my job (DVB-T identification, 8MHz channel wide and almost no space without it, so it's important to know relative level to make good choice). But:
1) RF Explorer suffer from hard desensing and sometimes you simply don't know what you have around.
2) I'm searching for something faster, Italy is like jungle for RF, and lot of times something change suddenly. A few months ago during soundcheck (very important show) security crew jumped in with Motorola DP3400 (up to 520 MHz, 5 watts!), illegal in Italy but you know, Amazon sells everywhere... I've seen them and check with Frequency Counter, but I have just two eyes and two legs!  ;)

As usually: please be patient with my bad english...





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Scott Holtzman

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Re: RF Analiser: wich is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2019, 12:52:11 pm »

I am old school.  I use an Agilent.  Real time from AM Broadcast band to 1.6GHZ.  It weighs about 40lbs but is very flyable.
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Scott Helmke

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Re: RF Analiser: wich is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2019, 04:23:37 pm »

TTi is pretty quick depending on your RBW and how wide you want to scan. For any of these devices you have to choose between doing a wide scan and a detailed scan, of course.  If money and space isn't an issue I like to use a Shure AXT600 Spectrum Manager with Wireless Workbench for scanning.

I do have an RF Explorer, and I don't entirely trust its results (mine seems to have a small false peak to the right of every real peak), and the RF Explorer is very slow to adjust compared to the TTi.  I do like how Touchstone makes the RF Explorer much easier to adjust, though.
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John Sulek

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Re: RF Analiser: wich is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2019, 05:46:36 pm »

The TTi is great for portable frequency checking. Take the unit to where the rx is located and see what's up. No need to carry a laptop, and usb device.
Also will display stored traces along with the live trace which is handy for comparing the rf landscape as the day marches on.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: RF Analiser: wich is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2019, 05:48:13 pm »

Thanx Scott for your response!
TTI is obviously one of the main brand of interest... Signal Hound appears to me faster in scanning with high resolution, at least in the same money range. Am I wrong? I'm asking just beacause I don't know for sure!

Signal Hound is faster and more powerful than a TTi, but it is not as portable. You are tied to a laptop where the TTi lets you walk the venue or room to room in a multi room situation. If being tied down is not an issue there are also dedicated hardware products like the Siglent SSA3000 series in about the same price range. It is a true spectrum analyzer not a scanner, and is very fast, includes a tracking generator and easy to use. It can also include a return loss bridge for analyzing antennas and cables.

Mac
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Gian Luca Cavalliini

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Re: RF Analiser: wich is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2019, 06:51:42 pm »

Signal Hound is faster and more powerful than a TTi, but it is not as portable. You are tied to a laptop where the TTi lets you walk the venue or room to room in a multi room situation. If being tied down is not an issue there are also dedicated hardware products like the Siglent SSA3000 series in about the same price range. It is a true spectrum analyzer not a scanner, and is very fast, includes a tracking generator and easy to use. It can also include a return loss bridge for analyzing antennas and cables.

Mac

A laptop with little USB box could be ok for me, not so easy but I can move (no need external power and... well, I have good velcro! (Not so different from Kaltman RFVue...). Anyway, Siglent SSA3000 is new for me, really interesting, thanx so much!
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Jason Glass

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Re: RF Analiser: wich is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2019, 11:21:31 pm »

Signal Hound is faster and more powerful than a TTi, but it is not as portable. You are tied to a laptop where the TTi lets you walk the venue or room to room in a multi room situation. If being tied down is not an issue there are also dedicated hardware products like the Siglent SSA3000 series in about the same price range. It is a true spectrum analyzer not a scanner, and is very fast, includes a tracking generator and easy to use. It can also include a return loss bridge for analyzing antennas and cables.

Mac
I Velcro my USB-SA44B to the back of a 10" Windows tablet, making it extremely portable.  The setup is not quite as portable and simple as a TTI, but far more capable.

My main axe is a BB60C with a Dell XPS and it smokes every other SA in its price range.

Sent from my mobile phone using Tapatalk

Gian Luca Cavalliini

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Re: RF Analiser: wich is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2019, 03:52:32 pm »

I Velcro my USB-SA44B to the back of a 10" Windows tablet, making it extremely portable.  The setup is not quite as portable and simple as a TTI, but far more capable.

My main axe is a BB60C with a Dell XPS and it smokes every other SA in its price range.

Sent from my mobile phone using Tapatalk

Thanx Jason! BB60C is too much money for me, but happy to see you confirming what I supposed about SA44B.
BTW: I will use a laptop instead of a tablet, but the idea is quite similar!

Really grateful for all the answer! :)

GLuca
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Andrew Herbein

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Re: RF Analiser: wich is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2019, 02:11:30 pm »

Hi all,
RF coordination is becoming "real job" in Italy. So, after MANY years of RF Explorer use I'm searching a new, fast, precise analyser system. Kaltman RF Vue, that I used many times, is too slow and "problematic". I really need something fast to measure not just DVB-T but also intermittent signal (Walkyes, Led ecc.). And yes, money is a great concern (RF coordination is BECOMING etc.)
Extensive search on the web point me to Signal Hound SA44B.
Any comment will be appreciate, TIA  :)

I have been having a lot of success with my Siglent SSA 3021X. It goes down to 1 kHz RBW. I like to go through my frequency list during shows looking at a 1 Meg window. With a 10kHz RBW my sweep time is 15 milliseconds. It also had 750 horizontal pixels vs the TTI's 250. I paid $1400 US.

It comes with an included tracking generator. The interface is great. There are jump arrows and a knob for tuning and moving a marker.


It is only ten pounds so it is portable, but there is no battery so it is not a handheld unit.

I have imported scans into the demo of IAS (I work events as an RF guy where I am already provided coordination).  I have not tried it in WWB.

Perhaps it would work well for you in combination with an RF Explorer for tracking down rogue users.
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: RF Analiser: wich is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2019, 12:26:10 pm »

Anyone compared the SSA3000 to the BB60C?
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: RF Analiser: wich is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2019, 12:31:18 pm »

Odd that the SSA doesn't have a battery, as it looks like it was designed to be portable...
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Mac Kerr

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Re: RF Analyser: which is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2019, 12:42:21 pm »

Odd that the SSA doesn't have a battery, as it looks like it was designed to be portable...

It does look like that. I was hoping to be able to adapt it to run on Anton Bauer batteries, but it looks like it would be very difficult and expensive. I nearly got it anyway, but a friend sold me his well kept TTi for a third of what the Siglent would have been.

It would have been nice to have the tracking generator and return loss bridge, but, oh well...

Mac
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Re: RF Analyser: which is best in ratio RBW/velocity/price?
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2019, 12:42:21 pm »


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